What Mystery Spray Does Goodwill Use to Freshen Their Clothes? Find Out on Reddit!

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What Mystery Spray Does Goodwill Use to Freshen Their Clothes? Find Out on Reddit!:Are you curious about what Goodwill sprays on their clothes to keep them smelling fresh? Well, you’re not alone! Reddit has been buzzing with questions about the mysterious scent that seems to linger on thrift store finds. In this blog post, we will demystify Goodwill’s deodorizing practices and address concerns about chemical deodorizers. But that’s not all! We’ll also share practical tips for refreshing your Goodwill treasures, so you can enjoy them without any lingering odors. So, grab your detective hat and let’s uncover the secrets of Goodwill’s signature scent!

Demystifying Goodwill’s Deodorizing Practices

For thrifty shoppers and bargain hunters, Goodwill stores are treasure troves of affordable clothing options. However, one common question that often surfaces on platforms like Reddit is, “What does Goodwill spray their clothes with?” This curiosity stems from the distinctive scent that permeates Goodwill stores, a smell that is often a blend of various donations.

Goodwill’s Deodorizing Agent: A Generic Solution

The answer to this olfactory mystery is that Goodwill employs a generic deodorizer to mask odors on clothing. This practice is not unique to Goodwill; many secondhand stores use similar methods to ensure that their merchandise maintains a neutral smell, making it more appealing to potential buyers.

The Fate of Overly Smelly Donations

While deodorizers can cover up mild odors, very smelly clothes are discarded by Goodwill. This is because the goal is to provide items that are suitable for resale and meet customer expectations. Clothes that are excessively soiled or have strong odors are not fit for the sales floor and thus, are responsibly disposed of.

Understanding the Goodwill Scent

Shoppers often note a particular “Goodwill scent,” which is an amalgamation of aromas from the multitude of donations. Since Goodwill employees do not wash clothing items, the combination of scents from different households and environments converge to create this unique store smell.

Legal Compliance in Resale Practices

It’s important to note that Goodwill complies with all laws regarding the resale of secondhand items. This compliance ensures that while the items may not be laundered, they are still handled in a manner that adheres to regulatory standards for resale products.

Addressing Concerns About Chemical Deodorizers

Questions have been raised on forums like Reddit about the type of deodorizers used by Goodwill, with some suggesting that products like Febreze are the culprits behind the signature scent. The contention is that Febreze, a synthetic chemical concoction, is used to “encapsulate” odors rather than remove them.

The Truth About Febreze and Odor Removal

Contrary to some claims, Febreze operates by trapping odor molecules within a donut-shaped chemical. The product does not remove the source of the odor, meaning that the underlying cause remains even if the smell is temporarily hidden. Moreover, there are concerns that this chemical approach could lead to health issues for sensitive individuals.

Practical Tips for Refreshing Your Goodwill Finds

For those who prefer to avoid the chemical scents or have concerns about potential allergens, there are some simple, effective strategies to refresh clothing purchased from Goodwill.

Airing Out Secondhand Clothes

A straightforward method to neutralize odors is to air out the clothes. This can be done by hanging them outdoors or by an open window. The fresh air helps to dissipate any lingering scents and can significantly reduce the presence of any deodorizers used by Goodwill.

Utilizing Sunlight as a Natural Deodorizer

Exposing clothes to sunlight not only helps dry them but also acts as a natural deodorizer. UV rays have the ability to break down odor-causing bacteria, thereby refreshing the fabric. This environmentally friendly approach is a great alternative to using additional chemical products.


Goodwill’s practices of using deodorizers and discarding heavily soiled clothing are standard in the secondhand industry. While the exact composition of the deodorizers might be a topic of debate, what’s certain is that Goodwill adheres to legal guidelines in their operations. For those concerned about the potential effects of these sprays, simple at-home remedies like airing out and exposing clothes to sunlight offer natural solutions. By understanding these practices and how to counteract them if needed, shoppers can continue to enjoy the benefits of secondhand shopping without the worry of unwanted odors.

FAQ & Common Questions about Goodwill’s Clothing

Q: What chemical does Goodwill use to spray their clothes?
A: Goodwill and other charitable resale shops spray their clothing with Febreze, a synthetic chemical concoction that encapsulates odors.

Q: How does Febreze work on the clothes?
A: Febreze works by encapsulating odors, but it does not actually remove them. The odor-causing substances are still present in the clothes.

Q: Does Febreze effectively remove odors from the clothes?
A: No, Febreze does not effectively remove odors from the clothes. It may temporarily mask the odor, but the underlying cause of the odor remains.

Q: Is it necessary to wash clothes purchased from Goodwill before wearing them?
A: While thrift stores like Goodwill sort through clothing and discard items with stains, damage, or bad odors, it is still recommended to wash your clothing purchases, whether new or used, before wearing them.

Q: Why is it important to wash clothes from Goodwill before wearing them?
A: Washing clothes from Goodwill before wearing them helps ensure cleanliness, removes any residual odors, and provides a fresh start for your clothing.

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